2022 Achiever Profiles

Mrs. Diamond Bronson
Associate Vice President and Healthcare Studio Leader
Hoefer Welker

Diamond Bronson is an Associate Vice President and Healthcare Studio Leader at Hoefer Welker, where she leads and manages many healthcare projects, specifically in the government sector.  Diamond has a leadership role in staffing, scheduling, mentorship, recruiting, and retention. Prior to joining Hoefer Welker’s Leawood office in 2014, Diamond’s 15-year career included starting two small businesses in 2010: her own firm, Diamond Architecture and Design, and a graphic design company, Diamond’s by Design. In her eight years at Hoefer Welker, she has flourished into a prominent sector leader inside our office and in the community. She began her tenure at Hoefer Welker working on a three-story, 74,000 sq. ft. Ambulatory Surgery Center in Marshalltown, Iowa and matriculated rather quickly into a natural understanding of medical equipment planning and healthcare design, and she remains one of our Healthcare Studio Leaders. Diamond graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Architecture degree. She is a registered architect in Missouri and holds a LEED AP certification, establishing her as an energy and environmental design leader. Diamond has been involved with AIA Kansas City for over 20 years, including her roles as a Chairman, Co-Chairman, and General Member of the Kansas City Architectural Foundation’s Scholarship Committee.

Diamond was a Founding Board Member of the Metropolitan Leadership Institute and served as Board Chairman for St. James United Methodist Church. She has also volunteered in the STEM Program for the Kansas City, Kansas, and Blue Springs school districts and Resiliency at Work 2.0.
This educational center provides career and technical education, skills training, and certification within STEM fields. For 25 years, Diamond has been involved with and held multiple leadership positions in her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha. Diamond participates in programs that help improve local, national, and international communities’ social, economic, and educational well-being. Diamond is one of less than 500 Black female Registered Architects in the US.

She is also a wife, mother, daughter, and sister. Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, she is the first of 50 cousins to attend college. Diamond and her husband have three perfect kids on earth: Donnell, Jasmine, and Daena.

Mr. Marcus Gladdis
Senior Portfolio Manager
Cerner Corporation

Marcus Gladdis is a Senior Portfolio Manager at Cerner Corporation. Marcus oversees maintenance and drives strategy for one of Cerner’s most frequented consumer-facing websites. Marcus continues to strengthen the relationships with our stakeholders, demonstrating a level of commitment to better their experience with his product. Marcus’ career at Cerner has been primarily in the new business unit creation space. He has been vital in standing up some of our highest visibility organizations. Marcus has recently transitioned into a Senior Portfolio Manager role starting at the beginning of the year, which allows him to take more ownership of the consumer-facing documentation projects. Previously he was a Senior Program Manager for 3 years.

Marcus has earned a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems from Kansas State
University. Marcus has also earned a Master of Business Administration (Management Information Systems) and a Master of Healthcare Administration from Park University. Most recently, Marcus earned a Certificate for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace from The University of South Florida.

Marcus is the founder and director of the Start with WY foundation, a non-profit organization based out of Kansas City, Kansas, that focuses on community engagement and mentorship. He also serves as a scholarship reviewer for KC Scholars and sits on the development committee for the Urban Rangers Corp. Marcus was awarded the 2016 Kansas City Kansas Public School’s Reason to believe award, which spotlights successful alumni encouraging and inspiring today’s students. Marcus was the recipient of the 2019 Park University Distinguished Young Professional Award, which recognizes Park University Alumni who show exceptional promise of leadership and contribution to their profession and community. At Kansas State, Marcus led a program designed to aid incoming first-year students in being successful while getting accustomed to college life.

Marcus wishes to acknowledge his parents, Carolyn and Vernon Gladdis.

Mr. Jeffrey Hughley
Senior Advisor for Community Outreach
Environmental Protection Agency

Jeffery Hughley serves as Senior Advisor for Community Outreach at the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7, which includes Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and nine Indian tribes. Although his role with the Environmental Protection Agency is new, he has a long list of leadership and management experience. Jeffery was promoted through the Kansas City Missouri Police Department ranks and recently retired as a Captain. He was appointed to the Missouri Peace Officers Standards & Training Commission through a gubernatorial appointment during his tenure. This occurred post the incident in Ferguson, Missouri, and he worked on increasing the amount of required continuing education training for police officers in Missouri. Jeffery had the opportunity to work in several units/divisions in the police department, including Patrol as an officer, sergeant, and captain; Narcotics & Vice Division as a detective and sergeant; Research & Development Bureau office as a sergeant; Detention Services Unit as a captain. At the police department, Jeffery earned several awards, including letters of commendation, meritorious service award, and distinguished service award & metal.

Jeffery holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and an Executive MBA in from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri.

For the last five years, Jeffery has worked closely with Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II, where he provided security coordination and community relations services. Jeffery is a member and current Treasurer of a local chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. He is also a Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Centurions Leadership program member. He serves on the Steering Committee and participates in numerous service projects, and is a voluntary board member at Reconciliation Services. Jeffery is undoubtedly a leader and role model for the community. Realizing that youth are the future, Jeffery coordinated the Youth & Policing Initiative (YPI) program, a partnership program with the Boys & Girls Club to reduce stereotypes that both youth and police officers have against each other.

Jeffery is married to Khara, and they have three children; Jaylen, Paiton, and Karson.

Mr. Elliott Ivory
ISC Project Manager
Honeywell FM&T

Elliott Ivory serves as an ISC Project Manager who supports the Surface Mount Technology and Electrical Product Sealing and Welding departments at Honeywell FM&T. In his role, Elliott interacts with various levels of management in manufacturing, engineering, and quality to resolve production issues and drive a continuous improvement culture to achieve deliverables. Over the past two years as a project manager Elliott has worked to stabilize seven production recovery plans by leading 5S initiatives and construction projects to increase manufacturing and testing capacity. Elliott also provides status and production forecasts to the Federal Program Manager to instill confidence in Honeywell’s production commitments.

Elliott earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Pittsburg State University in Plastics Engineering Technology. Elliott also earned his Six Sigma Green Belt Certification at Honeywell by optimizing the product packaging ordering system in the Polymer Production Facility at Honeywell FM&T.  In service, Elliott has volunteered with the Open Arms mobile food pantry where he hands out food and care packages for those in need. Elliott also finished his first year on the alumni advisory board for Lambda Chi Alpha at the University of Missouri—Kansas City (UMKC). In this role, Elliott provides the knowledge that he obtained as an active member in college to help rebuild the UMKC chapter in hopes of having the chapter earn its charter again. Elliott is also a Co-owner of Vine Street Brewing Co., a majority Black-owned brewery located in the 18th and Vine district. The brewery is set to open in September of 2022 and plans to be a collaborative space where people can meet, share stories, learn, and enjoy beer brewed in the 18th and Vine districts. Elliott will be responsible for establishing and maintaining brewery operations in this role and establishing quality standards for the beer produced, and educating staff on beer tasting and descriptions of the beer.

Born in Fort Collins, Colorado, and raised in Overland Park, KS, Elliott grew up as the youngest of three boys and lived with his Mom and Dad. Elliott currently resides in Olathe, Kansas, with his wife Hannah of 9 years and his three girls, Jadyn, Nia, and Ella.

Mr. Marvin Lyman
Corporate Services and Business Development Manager
Mountain Plains Minority Supplier Development Council

Marvin Lyman is currently the Corporate Services and Business Development Manager for the Mountain Plains Minority Supplier Development Council (MPMSDC). He oversees the Kansas and Missouri regions of the four state councils. Marvin’s work with the MPMSDC enables Black and Minority Business Enterprise to connect with Corporate Purchasing opportunities to bring wealth to otherwise disenfranchised populations. Marvin’s role is critical, with less than 2% of all corporate spending with Black-owned firms. Marvin’s role assists Black and Minority Business Enterprises with improving their businesses and following up with Corporate Members to ensure they are responsive to Black and Minority Business Enterprises.

Marvin holds a Bachelor of Elective Studies from St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota and is pursuing the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) credential.

Marvin is very involved in the Kansas City community as a Board Member of University Health. He is an active member of the Capital Improvements and Finance Committee. Marvin serves on the Board of Directors for Academy Lafayette, Missouri’s number one charter school and K-8 school. Over the last five years, Marvin has served in various roles on the board, including Vice President. Additionally, Marvin serves as the Chaplain of the Greater Kansas City Association of Real Estate Professionals, an affiliate of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers formed just over 75 years ago to empower Black Realtors. As a certified Housing Development Finance Professional, Marvin utilizes his education, experience, and talents to promote the organization’s mission of democracy in housing by teaching free development classes at the Public Library. With Marvin’s unique background in real estate development, former Mayor Sly James appointed him to one of the City’s quasi-governmental development agencies, The Planned Industrial Expansion Authority (PIEA).

Mrs. Dana Middleton
Health Equity & Integration Practitioner
Blue Cross and Blue Shield – KC

Dana is a Social Epidemiologist and Health Equity Practitioner. She joined Blue KC in 2017 as a Benefits Education Specialist. After learning more about the needs of Blue KC members, Dana joined the Community Health team in 2020 in a position that allows her to design responses and drive prevention strategies. She leads multi-stakeholder initiatives, including research focused on improving outcomes in maternal-child health. Dana led the development of Blue KC’s Health Equity Integration Council in 2021 and currently leads the REAL (Race, Ethnicity, and Language)/SOGIE (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression) Data program to support the elimination of health inequities.

Dana has a bachelor’s degree in public health education and a master’s degree with a dual concentration in social sciences and instructional design. While working full time, Dana is pursuing a doctorate in public health focused on health equity science and disparities resolution in minoritized communities. In addition, Dana holds several certifications that reflect her efforts in the various domains of health equity advancement, including Certified Brand Strategist and Professional Certified Marketer/Marketing Management (PCM).

Dana is active in the community and serves in several leadership roles focused on community health equity. She is a Fellow of the American Hospital Association’s Institute for Diversity and Health Equity Certificate in Diversity Management program. Dana is a member of the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) HI-IQ | KCQVIC Health Equity Work Group, UMKC WOCLC Planning Committee, and University of Kansas Center for African American Health (CAAH) Planning Committee. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Social Marketing Association of North America. Also, as a member of the Kansas City Health Equity Learning Action Network (HE-LAN) Design Team member. HE-LAN collaborates with the Health Forward Foundation/KC Health Collaborative, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and Blue KC.

Her greatest joy, however, is her family. Dana and her husband, Rob, share over 20 years of marriage and four brilliant and beautiful children who keep them very busy and hilariously entertained.

Mr. Whitney Morgan
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Liaison Officer
Kansas City Area Transportation Authority

Whitney Morgan is the DBE Liaison Officer at Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) and is responsible for KCATA’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program, Small Business Enterprise (SBE) program, Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), and Women Business Enterprise (WBE) programs to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and KCATA’s Procurement Process. He drafted the recently approved MBE/WBE Program for KCATA, the first of its kind at the transit agency. He has also gotten approval from KCATA’s Board of Commissioners to extend the SBE Pilot Program into a permanent program that will have the ability to set aside any project with federal funding up to $1 million. Along with his colleague Maurice Gay, Whitney has sought to expand KCATA’s relationship with small businesses by opening KCATA’s doors via DBE/SBE Informational Workshops.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in Architecture Studies and a master’s degree in Urban Planning (MUP) from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas.

Whitney is also the former President of the Kansas City Chapter of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO). Some of COMTO KC’s local activities include Garrett A. Morgan’s Shadow Day, Scholarships for youth seeking careers in a transportation-related field, “Triple Play” DBE Networking Event, sponsoring underprivileged youth during the holidays, COMTO CITY Internships, and membership outreach. He currently serves as a Chapter Board Member-At-Large, Program Manager of Tier 1 of the National COMTO Emerging Leaders Committee, and a winner of the COMTO’s 2020 Industry Award for the Rev. Jerry Moore’s President’s Leadership Award. Whitney hosts financial literacy workshops for churches and youth organizations in his spare time.

Whitney was born in St. Paul, MN, and has lived in many places, including Georgia, Washington, and Kansas City. Whitney has been married to Antionette Morgan for nine years great years. They have two beautiful daughters named Anyla (8) and Aria (6) Morgan. They have a household of 4, 5 if you include their Yorkie Bentley Morgan.

Ms. Alinda Murphy
Lead Examiner
Federal Reserve of Kansas City

Alinda Murphy currently serves as a lead examiner within the Supervision and Risk Management Division. Examiners broadly conduct supervisory activities for supervised entities. Over her career, Alinda has demonstrated a passion and commitment to financial literacy and consumer protection. Alinda joined the Bank in 1985 and has provided leadership and engagement on high-impact assignments and initiatives in the Consumer Affairs Department (CA) as an examiner. In May 2020, Alinda Murphy contributed significantly to standing up a new SRM function with strategic importance using her deep core and specialty supervisory expertise and credibility. On the Fintech Team, Alinda served as an advisor on the System Fintech Risk Report, contributed to System training modules on fintech, led a collaborative effort by Reserve Bank and Board staff to review and assess a supervisory framework for a new state chartering program, and is in the process of implementing a fintech educational program for Division staff.

Alinda holds a Bachelor in Liberal Arts and Geology from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and a Master of Arts in Journalism from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Alinda has certification with the American Bankers Association Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM) certification and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt (obtained to enhance negotiation and group efficiency skills).

Alinda demonstrates a solid commitment to financial literacy and is active in the community. Alinda has participated in various activities and events during National Consumer Protection Week. Alinda is committed to speaking and training activities for groups in public settings (such as public libraries) and on a radio talk show (KPRS – an urban contemporary radio station). Alinda is also an active member in her church and has provided financial literacy classes broadly and to small groups, and has supported individuals with financial institution transaction concerns. Alinda has worked with City Union Mission, serving in administrative services, as a Bible and financial literacy teacher, and in food preparation and serving with church organizations. Alinda has completed international mission trips to Zambia, and northern Jamaica focused on Christian education.  She also serves as a Board of Elections worker.

Mr. Lorenzo Rice
Senior Project Manager – Oil, Gas and Chemical
Burns & McDonnell

Lorenzo Rice serves as a senior project engineer in the Oil, Gas and Chemical (OGC) Group at Burns & McDonnell. The OGC group is one of the firm’s largest, contributing to a substantial portion of the company’s $5.7 billion in annual revenue and driving international growth. As an engineering manager, Lorenzo leads large oil, gas, and chemical projects and oversees multidiscipline project teams responsible for all engineering deliverables. Lorenzo has provided leadership to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) within the OGC Group and the firm. He served a three-year term at the Burns & McDonnell DE&I Alliance; an action-focused employee organization made up of representatives across the firm. The group serves as a platform with executive leadership to express concerns and be the voice of our collective employee-owner community.

Lorenzo earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Haute Terre, Indiana. He later received his master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Kansas. Lorenzo is a registered professional engineer in the states of Missouri and Illinois.

Lorenzo played a critical role in developing the Black Professionals Network (BPN) charter; the BPN was the first approved employee resource group (ERG) at Burns & McDonnell that was officially chartered in February 2021. Lorenzo was vital to the development of the charter, which ranged from speakers for Martin Luther King Jr. Day to hosting the firm’s first Juneteenth event; Lorenzo and other members of the BPN continue to develop initiatives to create a more inclusive workplace. Lorenzo has also participated in the OGC Shadow Group, a group of employe-eowners within the division who are identified as future leaders. Recently, Lorenzo was elected to join Emerging Leaders, a diverse group of employee-owners identified by management for their potential to succeed in roles with increasing responsibility.

Lorenzo has been married to the beautiful and intelligent Jeniene Rice for eight years and has two highly handsome sons, a two-year-old son, Lorenzo Alvin Rice IV, and a two-month-old son Lincoln Alexandar Rice.

Ms. Kari Thompson
Division Commander
Kansas City, MO Police Department

As a Captain on the police department, Kari Thompson was named the Director of the Kansas City Regional Fusion Center. In this role, Kari was the first African American woman to hold this role in the region and one of two African American women to have this designation out of 80 Fusion Centers nationwide. Kari is presently the highest-ranking African American woman in the largest police agency in the state of Missouri. As Division Commander, she presently leads the largest patrol division within the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department. The Division serves one of the most racially and religiously diverse areas of Kansas City, Missouri, with over 90,000 residents. Kari is also one of the Department Lobbyists for the Police Department. She frequently travels to the Capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri, to give testimony and background on current events and items up for vote and consideration on behalf of the department. Kari mentors men and women in the department for promotion and provides professional guidance to members seeking specialized units within the department.

Kari has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Kari is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She serves on the Executive Committee and is the Chairman of the Sisterly Relations Committee. Prior to this appointment, she was a Co-Chair of the Risk Management Committee. Kari is on the Board of Trustees with Research  Hospital HCA Midwest. In this role, Ms. Thompson is a part of vital decisions concerning the hospital and its role in the community, including the vetting process for Doctors, Specialists, and Nurse Practitioners prior to their appointment within the hospital system. Kari is a past Board Member of the Palestine Senior Activity Center and took part in all important decisions for its members and the Center operationally. As the Major of the East Patrol Division, she leads the largest patrol division in the city. Presently, East Patrol is comprised of 45 square miles with 80,000 residents. It is richly diverse, with over 85 dialects spoken at high schools in our district. The Division houses a gym where many sports teams come to play and practice and a computer lab that many neighborhood children and adults utilize for work and study. She works daily with several homeowners associations, civic groups, businesses, churches, shelters, and schools to make our Division safer.

Ms. Ashley Tramble
Electrical Engineer
Honeywell FM&T

Ashley Tramble is an electrical engineer II in Global Security as a Project Manager for the Trusted Access Program Office (TAPO). Her duties require constant communication with the designers, the foundry, and the government oversight organization (DMEA). Within her role, Ashley works on electromagnetic sensor development, hardware security fault injection research, side-channel analysis research, and reverse engineering of electronics. Ashley is also a subject matter expert (SME) in printed circuit board (PCB) reverse engineering (RE) and embedded system hardware security. She is also a Campus Manager for University Relations and the Microelectronic Deputy Lead for the Microelectronic Consortium under the Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program (MSIPP).

Ashley holds from Alabama A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering focusing on microelectronics and a Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering focusing in Hardware Security and microelectronic Fabrication from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. Ashley has been a speaker at two Missouri Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (MoLSAMP) Conferences. MoLSAMP is an alliance of nine colleges and universities in Missouri, funded by the National Science Foundation, collaborating to increase underrepresented minority students statewide who complete degrees in STEM fields. Before moving to Missouri, Ashley volunteered with the “Wurks for a Change” Foundation, where she assisted with organizing and executing back-to-school events for students in the Birmingham City School System. Ashley also rehabilitated houses with Habitat for Humanities in the neighborhood she grew up.

Ashley was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. Her awesome parents are Wanda Tramble and Charles Lee, and she has two loving and  supportive siblings, Raylun Tramble and Brittany Lee.

Mr. James Vincent
Sr. Engineering Technical Specialist
Honeywell FM&T

James Vincent is a Senior Engineering Technical Specialist with over 43 years of service with Honeywell FM&T. His responsibilities include design, development, installation, troubleshooting, inventory, modification, and assembly of new and existing automation systems. He enjoys working with all the engineers with diverse skillsets to design and build new custom projects needed in the manufacturing industry. He has been a Process Automation Group (PAG) member at Honeywell FM&T for almost 20 years. He is currently the sole technician supporting and collaborating with approximately 40 engineers, managers, and specialists.

James holds a Bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications Management from DeVry University, an associate’s degree in Liberal Arts from Metropolitan Community College, and certifications from The Adult Vocational Trade School.

He has volunteered to serve with the Honeywell FM&T Harvesters outreach program for three years. Its mission is to feed hungry people today and end hunger tomorrow. He also served Harvester’s food pantry through Grace Baptist Church of Greater Kansas City, providing food for the community. Each packed box will feed a family for three weeks. He served as a church greeter for two years to welcome people and assist the elderly. He also served as a trustee for one year, helping make financial decisions needed to maintain the church. James volunteered as a boy’s youth coach at the YMCA for two years. Its mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirits, minds, and bodies for all. He coached 6-8-year-old boys’ basketball and flag football. He taught the fundamentals of the game and helped instill positive values while teaching some life lessons such as competition, fair play, team-building, and respect for others.

Ms. Roshaun Wiley
IT Service Delivery Manager
Hallmark Cards

Roshaun Wiley is an IT Service Delivery Manager at Hallmark Cards. Her role enables the delivery of high-quality IT service to end-users and business functions across the organization; through vendor and contract governance, strategic and financial planning, project and program management, and business relationship management. Before Roshaun’s current position; her role as an Sr. IT Auditor drove collaboration with audit managers, auditors, IT and Information Security personnel to perform IT risk-based audits and general control reviews across the organization and multiple subsidiaries. Roshaun demonstrates leadership competencies by participating as an active member of the Finance Diversity & Inclusion Council (FD&IC). The FD&IC goals and Roshaun’s commitment as a member are to help all employees develop to their fullest potential, achieving the most significant personal satisfaction and business goals.

Roshaun holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Purdue University and a Master of Arts in IT Management from Webster University. She is a certified Project Management Professional through PMI and a Certified Information Systems Auditor through ISACA.

Roshaun is currently a co-chair of the Hallmark Women in Technology employee group and has made numerous contributions to Hallmark’s DE&I efforts over the last three and a half years. She is a 2021 Central Exchange Emerging Leaders Graduate and currently in the KC Chamber’s Centurions Leadership Program Class of 2023. Roshaun is also a member of both PMI and ISACA. Emerging Leaders Program, Central Exchange – Class of 2021; Centurions Leadership Program, KC Chamber – Class of 2023; ISACA, Member – 08/2018-present.

Through Centurions, Roshaun has volunteered for Newhouse KC, reStart Inc, Happy Bottoms, Cross-Lines Community Outreach, KC Scholars, Jewish Vocational Services, Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired, and SAVE, Inc. Roshaun is part of the Emerging Leaders Program, Central Exchange, Centurions Leadership Program, KC Chamber, and ISACA.

Roshaun wishes to acknowledge her Mother, Mary Wiley; one brother, two sisters, one niece, and three nephews.

Mrs. Dierdra Zollar
Studio Editorial Director
Hallmark Cards

Dierdra Zollar has spanned over 20 years with Hallmark Card, Inc. During this time, Dierdra held positions as a writer, editor, and I am now currently serving as a Studio Editorial Director in the Greetings Division at Hallmark Cards, Inc. In her role as director, Dierdra partnered with a Studio Art Director, creative strategist, and marketing analysts to influence creative strategy and lead a dynamic team of editors, writers, artists, designers, and creative planners in developing relevant, innovative, compelling solutions across multiple product lines, which include two of our cultural identity focused brands, Mahogany (preferred card line for African American consumers) and Tree of Life (Jewish consumers), that help our consumers experience richer, more authentic, caring, emotionally connected lives.  Deidra led the collaboration with Grammy award winning artist, Jill Scott to create a collection of cards inspired by her. She was also featured on a segment on “The Real” talk show in honor of Black History month to discuss my role as Editorial Director for Mahogany cards and promote the 2022 Uplifted and Empowered collection and free card giveaway.

Dierdra earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida and a Master of Arts in Literature from University of Pittsburgh, in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

Currently she is the Insights and Ideas Chair for HAAL (Hallmark African American Leadership ERG) for a year. Faciliator of Strengthfinders assessment and team workshops-Hallmark Cards, Inc. Facilitator of Leading with Empathy Workshop-KC Centurions Race and Cultural Competency in Kansas City. In the community, Deirdra has served as a volunteer at Swope Parkway Church of Christ monthly food distribution, Youth Ministry, “Sick and Shut In”, and as a Sunday School at a Teacher. She has volunteered at community events for KC Juneteenth Heritage Festival and coordinated team efforts to support Operation Joy for Operation Breakthrough yearly.

Dierdra is native to Daytona Beach, Florida and relocated to Kansas City after being recruited to work as a writer for Hallmark Cards. She been married to my husband, Kenneth, of 20 years and together we have two grown daughters, Kenya and Kimberly, who both reside in California, and a 16-year-old son, Kennedy, who just completed his junior year in high school.